Magazines braced for new ABC plunge

Men and women’s monthlies are set to see more steep falls in circulation in the next ABC figures with some titles seeing as much as a 50 per cent dip in circulation on certain issues in the last year.

The official consumer magazine circulation figures for the first half of this year are due to be released on 17 August.

One industry source said that the August issue of Emap title NW was down 60 per cent on the same month last year, and media buyers have predicted a drop as high as 50 per cent year on year.

Alex Randall, associate press director at Vizeum, said that NW’s new editor and its reversion to a more monthly style may stem the decline. ‘It’s a very confused title over the years, it has lost its way and its identity a little bit. They’ve been in decline for quite some time now. I’d say this might be their last attempt before it leaves this stable.”

Handbag-sized monthly Glamour is expected to see a dip this period – a decline which might explain its recent price cut from £2.40 to £2.

Dan Pimm, head of press at Universal McCann, said: ‘It’s too throwaway. Monthlies are starting to come back to the fact that you need quality editorial. The reason Glamour did so well was that it was such a low cover price, and it was quick and easy.

‘Now they’re competing against £1 weeklies.”

The woman’s monthly sector as a whole is facing an overall decline of about 20 per cent year on year. Other titles such as Hachette’s Elle have suffered periodical blips. The August issue is rumoured to have sold about half the same month last year did – but this may be due to the covermounted bikini in a month of rain. Titles expected to buck the trend include Cosmopolitan and Hachette’s monthly, Red.

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